Yesterday kicked off Phan Thiet's 3-day Nghinh Ong - Quang Thanh Festival. The festival combines the local fisherman's whale worship religion with Chinese Taoism and Vietnamese Buddhist practices into one of Vietnam's most spectacular spectacles. The festival only occurs once every two years (alternating with the Cau Ngu Festival, devoted to whale worship).
The Nghinh Ong - Quang Thanh Festival opened at the Quang Thanh Temple hear Phan Thiet's central market, with a pride of lion dancers.
This ghoulish looking character was part of a trio that dances its way from Saigon for the festival.
Dragons are a key part of any Vietnamese festival.
In the middle of the show we were treated to a whole orchestra of drums. Very impressive.
16 year old Tuan Nhi stole the show with his amazing lion-taming acrobatics. His spun, rolled and did flying somersault over the dueling lions.
Absolutely amazing martial arts performances.
Today's finale (there will be 2 more days of performances) was a lion dance on top of these pilings in front of the temple.